Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Friday, March 02, 2012

travel update from vilcabamba

Hola a Todos!
This is ground control to Major Tom, do you read me? I am in orbit around Vilcabamba, a tiny fragment of a country (Ecuador) which is a tiny fragment of a continent (South America). I like being here now. So... most of you have not heard from me since I left Florida with my Dad to go to Ecuador. I appreciate the letters that a lot of people sent about my Mother Passing and my spiritual growth.
The trip down to Ecuador went smooth. Nice Plane, great price on LAN airways, Arrived right on time in Guayaquil and made it to the Bus terminal about 1 and a half hours early for our bus, bastante time to buy our tickets and eat a leisurely lunch.
The bus got us to Vilcabamba after a 9 hour drive with a dinner stop, a little tired, but excited and glad to be done with the "road" for the day...I don't know, but I am guessing the bus ride was the longest one my father ever experienced in his lifetime. His first taste of what it is to travel. I don't mean going on cruise ships or staying at club med, or going on a tour of china, no. Dad had done all that kinda stuff but honestly, I think my kind of travel is a little "pesado" for a man of his years.
Dad wanted to pass a couple of tranquil weeks in a nice out of the way sleepy town and he got what he bargained for! He met up with a lot of the local english speaking ex-pats and made friends quickly. It was fun for me to be with a person who has never been in a "developing" country. I think he was amazed at the markets, and the prices of things in a less regulated economy. He tried lots of foods for the first time, like yuca and plantains/maduros, tomate de arbol, mote, and lots of other stuff he had not been exposed to like empenadas de quso, horchata, humitas/tamales, pan de yuca.
In many ways he felt it reminded him of his childhood years. The people were more innocent then and there was so much more free enterprise. The kind of enterprise that supports "Mom and Pop" little shops.

Like people baking banana bread or cinnamon rolls in their home and strolling the streets with a basket selling them later. Little kids selling bags of coffee from their family garden or mora berries or avocados. Street vendors. Trucks or old toyota cars with loud speakers on top going through the neighborhood selling "Pescado Fresca! Hoy Mariscos!" "Leche! Leche de Vaca!" The morning music of Latin America! The little tune the Garbage Pick up truck plays so everyone will come out with their trash.
In this town, this little fragment of the known universe, at evening time, people hang out in front of their homes and passers by stop and chat, have a beer or a coffee. Kids play in the streets. Familys eat ice cream cones in the plaza in front of the little cathedral and the fountain. Estelita goes to Mass in the church 7 or 8 times a month and sits with the old women of the neighborhood in the back near the door.
Estelita is the "care taker" of a new guest house which is as yet not ready to have guests. The part of the house we live in is very nice. It is furnished with all Estelita's stuff, and the kitchen too with all her stuff. It is, by far, the Nicest place I have called home in a long long time!

It seems I will meet the owner, a Canadian woman soon. She is said to be coming here first week of April. Now that the guest house part of the place is all but complete, I reckon she wants to supervise the finishing and furnishing, and make her deal with Estelita ( and I ) clear.
I have been leading a class on "Breath Meditation" every Monday at the Vilcabamba Meditation Center. There is another person who leads a "Metta Meditation" on Fridays, but as she will be unavailable for March, I will lead two classes per week. This is the first time I have had anything like a schedule since I was in France in 2009. I was cooking at a meditation center there. Moulin au Chaves.
I used to have lots of responsibilities and a well planned day all the time when I was working. Now even a little schedule makes me somewhat un-easy, or should I say it gives me dis-ease. A full schedule is like a disease for me. But with my schedule of two meditation classes per week I do not suffer from it, I am not payed and I do this strictly for spiritual aims (here and now and while I was in France as well). I seem to suffer more when the schedule is "self" serving.
So I suppose this is one of the differences between mechanical suffering and intentional suffering.
I have been taught that in "Fourth Way" terms, consious labor and intentional suffering are the generators that give us the energy to self-evolve. Without this specific type of energy, we only hope and want and desire and would like to evolve. This alone is not enough. One must suffer intentionally and labor consiously so as to have the energy necessary to do the very suble work of self remembering and self observation.

Meditation is self observation. On a deep level, when I meditate when i silence the mind, the ego is still, The observer is now observing the observed in a most direct instantaneous way. The seperation between observer and the observed disapears during meditation. The many become one, Time disappears into Now, the solid becomes the space. I am swimming upstream in the River Universe. Life is suffering. To suffer intentionally is to be self directed.
"To be like the budda be you gotta do like the budda do". Observe the saints. Which ever saint you choose. Buddhist saint, Christian saint, Hindu saint, Saint Moses, Saint Jesus, Saint Ghandi, Saint Rumi...you choose, observe, they are all the same anyway! Observe. Did they not suffer intentionally and labor consiously?

Well, today is my birthday. I am 56. I probably only have about 14 more years to live, I want to make the most of the little time I have left so I am gonna end this update now and go back to my here and now. Some good quotes below this time!

Peace and love, Blessings and Light to you all


"In Charity there is no excess " Francis Bacon
"Do not assume more causes for a phenomenon than are absolutely necessary to explain it " William Occam

" This spending of the best part of one's life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it, reminds me of the Eiiglishman who went to India to make a fortune first, in order that he might return to England and live the life of a poet. " Henry David Thoreau